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How to Make Sewing Patterns

Design your own clothes by making sewing patterns, but pay attention to the details.


  • Step 1: Lay a large piece of pattern paper on a broad table. Use the L-square to draw a vertical line, A, representing the Center Front. Draw a horizontal, B, for the waistline.
  • Step 2: Measure from the center of the neck below the Adam’s apple to the navel. On paper, reproduce the length from the crook of the L-square up, and make a cross hatch on A for the center of the neck.
  • TIP: The pattern will reflect half the body of the person you're measuring.
  • Step 3: Make a line from the center front point to one even with the side of the neck. Note the width and measure from the shoulder seam at the side of the neck down to the navel level.
  • Step 4: Reproduce this vertically, drawing the side front or C line, to the waistline, B.
  • TIP: If you're measuring yourself, have someone help you so your pattern dimensions are precise.
  • Step 5: Hold the tape from the center point to the edge of the shoulder. Mark that horizontal measurement on the pattern and make a vertical line, labeled D, indicating the shoulder edge.
  • Step 6: Take the distance from the navel to the edge of the shoulder to put a corresponding line from center front to D on the paper. From there, connect to the neck mark on C.
  • Step 7: Draw vertical Line E using the measurement from center front across the bust to the side seam. Measure the waist from center front to the side seam and mark on line B.
  • TIP: Make adjustments to fit the contours of the body. Add one half inch for seam allowance all around.
  • Step 8: Take down the length of the side seam and mark it on Line E. Find the halfway point on line B between the waist mark and Line E and connect these two points.
  • Step 9: Complete the outline using the French curve to connect the center neck mark on A to the side front, and side seam E to shoulder mark D. Now use the pattern on real material!
  • FACT: In 1863, Ebeneezer Butterick creating the first graded sewing pattern.

You Will Need

  • Pattern paper
  • A broad table
  • An L-square
  • Measuring tape
  • A paper pad
  • A pen
  • A French curve
  • A helper (optional)

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